Sunshine Stars of Akure has been issued a 48 hours ultimatum to explain why a player, Akiroyeje Olumide Ayodeji, will not be declared a free agent.
This followed a written request made by the player to the League Management Company seeking to establish that his contract with the Akure-based side has lapsed.
The player’s request to the LMC was sequel to the club’s refusal to release him after a formal request to leave the club.
The LMC investigation showed that from filings from the club with the NPFL, Ayodeji’s contract with Sunshine Stars ended on December 31, 2018.
Salihu Abubakar, the LMC Chief Operating Officer, in a letter to Sunshine Stars noted that the move by the League body is in consonance with Article B9.59.3 of the NPFL Framework and Rules.
The rule states: “Upon the expiration or termination of a Player’s contract, where the Club refuses to release the Player’s registration/Clearance within 7 days of a written request for that purpose by the Player, the LMC shall have the power to issue a confirmation that the Player is an out of contract Player.”
Sunshine Stars FC were thus directed to within 48 hours “kindly therefore furnish us with any relevant information regarding any change in the contractual status between your club and the Player if any”.
This ruling may open the way for other players who are tied down by clubs that have rendered them redundant but still refuses to release such players as free agents to other interested clubs.